Bed Bugs -- You Better Take Preventative Measures Now

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by pustelniakr, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

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    Something about this thread makes me come back to see what the latest installment is. It's just stomach turning and I feel so bad for you Rich.

    I'm starting to think there is only one final solution to bedbugs:

    MOAB.JPG
     
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  2. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Image-1.jpg This is Leo the gecko and he belongs to my grandson. I'm not sure whether he has the run of the house but I know he's out of his aquarium quite a bit. This pic is from last August and I've heard he's grown quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  3. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    While geckos will eat the occasional bed bug, they are not a preferred food source. Also, bed bug populations reproduce too fast and they spend almost all of their time tucked away into locations inaccessible to geckos. Bed bugs come out, travel directly to their host for a blood meal, then travel directly back to their hiding places. So, any particular bed bug will be exposed to gecko predation for 10-15 minutes, once every 5 days, and 5 of those minutes are taken up during the actual feeding upon the host. There will be insufficient attraction for a gecko to hang out where they can get the exposed bed bugs, during which time there is generally little to no light to see the bugs.

    As I said...ineffective.

    There are bed bug predators, but they are pest infestations in their own right, and, unlike bed bugs, do carry diseases and cause great pain when they bite humans: pharaoh ants, cockroaches (normally hang out in kitchens rather than in living and bed rooms), centipedes, bed bug hunters (bite feels like a scorpion sting), lady bugs (not proven), etc.

    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  4. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    I think lady bugs are more of an aphid predator and I will not kill one. We find quite a few errant ones in the house and always take them back outside.
    What I did have a bug problem with last spring and partly thru the summer was "roly polies." Little beggars were everywhere and so much so that it prompted me to read up on them. While they are not officially considered necessarily a pest we had so many I had to grab a vacuum and suck them up nearly every morning.
    What I read said that they like a damp environment which we certainly had thanks to nearly a foot above normal rainfall plus we have the koi pond right next to the house. Luckily that plague abated itself as we finally got into a little hotter and drier weather but I was beginning to wonder about it.
     
  5. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    Just put the gecko on a tiny leash so it hangs around your bed. Problem solved. :D Kidding of course.
     
  6. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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    Kidding aside, when I was much younger the circus offered little geckos on tiny little chains for sale. I expect the mortality rate for these poor little lizards was awful.
     

     

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  7. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    About the same as the goldfish from the coin toss.
     
  8. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    As promised, here is an update, sent to me by the fellow that is essentially my teacher on the subject of bed bugs. This link is to a preliminary field study on the use of the fungus, Beauvaria Bassania, and the product using it as an active ingredient (the patent holder). The product is called "Aprehend" from ConidioTec. Things look promising, not as a magic bullet, but as another effective weapon in the arsenal.

    http://senscionline.com/aprehend-field-study/

    Watch the two videos there, if you like being completed creeped out. We were no where near that infested. We had a couple of very small harborages, and it has still been almost 8 weeks of inspections and treatments, with several weeks left in the protocol. In any case, as you can see, fooling around with DIY, trying to ignore, and such will NOT result in ANYTHING good. I am confident that I could now treat an infestation, but I have essentially put myself through a bed bug degree program. I am available if anyone needs me henceforth, for info and direction to true sources on the subject.

    Here is a video showing how tough the environment was for that field trial. They certainly did not choose an easy job.



    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  9. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Here is an interesting video on the subject of bed bugs. There are 2 corrections that need to be made to info in the video (the rest of the info is trustworthy).
    1. The critical temperature for killing bed bugs is not 115 degF, but at least 120 degF. At that temperature you need about a half-hour of exposure to be effective. At 180 degF, death is immediate, and this is the kind of temperature you get from a good steamer.
    2. The fellow states that you can put an item in your freezer for a couple of weeks and that will kill bugs, but that is not true. You freezer does not get cold enough. All you will do is trigger any bugs on the item to go into diapause (a kind of hibernation). They will most likely wake up when they warm up, and who wants bed bugs in their freezer anyway?


    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
  10. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    Good Lord, how was it even possible for that many to be alive in that house? As in, what were they feeding on...

    And why is that guy walking around in there without protective gear? I'd be in Level A and dip me in a hydrochloric acid tank when I come out! :yikes:
     
  11. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Most of the material you are seeing is sloughed cuticles (exoskeletons) and fecal depositions. In any case, each bug feeds for about 5 minutes, and does not feed for another 5 days. 20+ percent of people do not show reactions to the bites, and the actual biting is not felt, even if you are looking at it.The good thing is that bed bugs have not been found to transit diseases. Their bites can infect, due to scratching and uninformed treatment.

    I can't see tolerating conditions like this without some kind of mental incompetence. But, remember that this house had been prepped to expose these harborages. Normally, they would be well out of sight.

    At the very least, the folks living here had to be anemic, unless we humans adapt by producing more blood when subjected to such conditions. While this is an extreme case, infestations grow very quickly, and must be dealt with as soon as discovered.

    Initially, the natural response to such infestations is to wear a Tyvek suit with built-in hood and booties. But they are really very hot. The bugs do not like movement, and do not attach to people like ticks. All you need to do is strip and go into a hot shower, and the bugs will all drop right off. I'm sure that these PCOs took necessary measures to keep hitchhikers from dropping off in their trucks and homes. In a situation like that, your shoes are at greatest risk, but a spray of high concentration alcohol (or a good steaming) and a quick brushing will do the trick. Clothing can be placed into a hot dryer cycle and that will kill all life stages and eggs in 20-40 minutes.

    The collection of bugs and harborage products was to enable studies, to see what this strain of bugs is resistant and susceptible to, what chemicals and pheromones were present, ratios of nymph stages, sex, and adult, egg counts per area, etc. Bug strains are maintained by entomologists, and fed on their own blood, for the purpose of their studies. There are living strains that have been maintained since the 60s and 70s.

    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

     

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  12. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    This is givin' me the heebie-jeebies!
     
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  13. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Try actually catching a case of them, and go through the process of getting free.

    Update to your question. I talked to my PCO, a gen. manager at the company. I asked what you asked. He says that if there is the potential of getting your body against where they are walking, he will wear a suit, or some other mitigating clothing. Where the infestation may be high enough, or not yet determined, he will wear booties. Where hitchhikers will be less likely, he will stop and brush his boots before climbing into his truck. The real help comes from knowing their biology and behavior. They don't jump, and they don't fly. You can avoid picking up hitchhikers if you know how and act accordingly.

    The focus of most folks would best be upon minimizing exposure to infestation. Modification of our behavior and awareness of bug biology and behavior. Here are exposures to consider: used furniture, pick ups from the sides of roads and streets, used clothing, public meeting places (movie theaters, auditoriums, churches, etc.), public libraries, public transportation (planes, trains, buses, taxis), multi-unit housing units (hotels, apartment complexes, nursing homes, barracks, prisons, dormitories, etc.). These kind of considerations may cause one to modify activities.

    Another, consideration is detection and infestation interception. Put climb-up interceptors under the feet of beds, sofas, chairs, etc. Along with climb-ups, the bed should be pulled a few inches away from the wall, items should not be stored under the beds, and the only things allowed to touch the ground should be the legs in the climb-ups (no dust-ruffles, hanging bedding, etc.). Place active monitoring traps in strategic places (behind sofas, near the walls under the heads of beds, etc.). Put proven bed bug encasements on mattresses and box springs. These things will help detect the presence early.

    Here is an interesting video on the subject:


    Here is a nice primer: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636

    Don't be afraid to talk to others about the subject. Many folks who have these will be very reticent to talk about it, because of the stigma. This stigma and fear is NOT helpful.

    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  14. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

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    making me think about how to build a bed bug detector . it must be possible with modern tech . although cant rely on it working properly . :D
     
  15. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    There are a variety of active detectors you can make, that will attract them (with CO2) into pitfall traps. However, there are dangers associated with using them. In small volumes you could actually achieve lethal concentrations of CO2. There are those you can buy, but will cost you, but will be safe to use. In any case, expecting such to compete successfully with an actual human host in the same room is going to yield mostly disappointment. The methods I just mentioned, above, will provide the best detection opportunities available.

    Climb-ups, active monitor traps, and encasements can cost a bit, but, believe me, are well worth it.

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
  16. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Update: Today was our 4th week without hide nor hair of bed bugs. :jump: If we remain clean for 6 more weeks, we will be declared clean, and begin the 3-month warrantee period, during which they start all over at no extra charge if anything is detected (live bugs or bites, etc.). In 6 weeks, my music collection may be coming home. :jump:

    I created an information package on the brand new product, Aprehend, that uses the spores of the Beauvaria Bassania fungus as the active ingredient. He had not heard of it, and liked what I told him about it. Maybe it will help him in his work against bed bugs. We will see...

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  17. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Bed Bugs and Our Audio Gear and Source Material

    Today I want to address the risk of exposure to bed bugs that comes from taking in used equipment. When we purchase or pick up items that have been in the homes of others, we just don't know what the conditions were in the homes that they are coming out of. There is such a stigma associated with having bed bugs that most folks will simply not tell you that they have them. Some items are coming out of estate sales and commodity auctions. What were the conditions they are leaving behind. At stores specializing in selling donated or used items, what were the conditions they are leaving behind? What is the intake treatment policy of the store, particularly regarding bed bugs? We just don't know. When you purchase from folks on CraigsList, or eBay, what were the conditions where those items are coming from? Again, we just don't know. What about items that are found out on the curb? Just WHY are they out on the curb? You get my point.

    When a person comes down with bed bugs, large areas of their dwellings will have to be prep'd for treatment. Items will have to be removed from the areas being treated, and this means disposing of them, or relocating them. Also, such items will have to be treated before bringing them back into a house, or area, that has been declared clean. If items are removed from an area of the house to be treated, and simply moved to a different area of the house, there is significant risk of spreading the infestation beyond the area(s) to be treated, making treatment more difficult and more expensive.

    If items are removed to storage units and companies, there is a significant risk of spreading the infestation to others. Because of this, I do NOT suggest storing your items in temperature controlled public storage units, because these are indoor storage facilities and the bugs will go searching for hosts, and move around the facility. This is simply morally wrong. If you use public storage facilities, please limit your selection to those with outside access only, via garage-type doors or regular doors, with pad locks. Also, to minimize the risk to others, you should hang bed bug certified pest strips (see below) in that storage locker, so that bugs exiting your items or packaging will be exposed to the control chemical. Don't use these strips in an indoor facility, because the volatilized chemicals will remain contained, even if they get out of your locker. In outdoor lockers, the chemicals will dissipate into the air as soon as they leave your locker.

    Here is my personal experience. The back section of my house is literally filled with vintage high end Pioneer audio gear of all kinds, stacked up everywhere. I also have stacks of speakers taking up space. All of this is my personal inventory, awaiting restoration and relocating to new homes. I did not have to in my case (so far), but if I had to treat that part of my house, disposition of those items would have to be made, one way or the other. Because of the potential for getting someone else infested, I would be morally constrained from doing any of the following: giving the items away, selling them, dropping them off at recycling or Goodwill centers, or placing the items out on the curb. I am limited to personally taking these potentially infested items to the landfill, or transferring them to one or more storage units (expensive over time). Please note that others may not be as constrained as I am: mentally incompetent because of age-related degeneration or metal illness, don't much care about others, or don't really believe there is any danger to others, etc. Some folks don't even know that they have bed bugs, because they do not show reactions to their bites (about 20% or the population).

    OK. So now I have some items that MAY contain bed bugs and/or their eggs. I want to continue to own them and bring them (back) into my house. How can I do that safely? That is what this post is intended to address, in addition to warning my friends here about the exposures related to new acquisitions of old/used gear.

    The bed bug Achilles heel is heat. 120 degF for 30 minutes will kill all life stages, including eggs. Higher temps are effective in less time, up to 180 degF which should kill on direct contact. Steam is one way to apply heat. Another is a 30 minute dryer cycle on high heat setting. Another option is portable commodity heaters that come in various sizes and internal volumes. There are companies that will actually heat your entire house. The problem with heat is that the equipment we are concerned about, our audio gear may have problems tolerating the required heat for the time required to ensure complete heat penetration.

    Another option is fumigation with Vikane gas (a gas that works very well and leaves no residue once properly aired out). There are companies that have big truck trailers set up to soak household items in Vikane gas. You can even have your whole house tented and treated. This is generally an expensive option, and not available in all areas. It is also not an option for those onsey-twosey acquisitions that you may want to treat before bringing them into your house.

    There is another option that, although not fast by anyone's standards, is effective and safe, if done properly. This method is to place items in a sealed plastic bag or container, at least 2 mil thick, and drop in a bed bug certified pest strip. There are 2 kinds, and I recommend the Nuvan Pro-Strip. The other is made by Hot Shot. Your items will need to be left in the bags for 3+ weeks ( I do 6 weeks), to ensure effectiveness, longer if the temperatures are low where you store the bagged items (it's a parts per million thing). The active ingredient is DDVP (diclorvos), an unfriendly organo-phosphate, so you do not want to store the bagged items inside where you live and hang out. When the time period is up, simply open the bags, remove the items and let them air out for several hours. There will be no chemical residue left behind, as DDVP is volatilized (turns to a gas) as it leaves the pest strip. The strips are effective for 3 months, once removed from their containing package. The package of strips is zip-locked, so you can use them as you may need to, and leave the unused ones for later. Handle these with latex gloves and wash your hands after you are done.

    Here is where you can get it, and it comes in volume, since it is intended for pest control professionals: https://www.amazon.com/Nuvan-ProStr...?ie=UTF8&qid=1543614506&sr=8-1&keywords=Nuvan

    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of videos discussing the topic at hand:





    Let's be careful out there,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  18. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Update:

    Here we are, 12 weeks into our treatment for these little vampires. Each treatment day starts with a thorough inspection. I participate in the inspections. I've gotten pretty good at it, catching what the PCO misses. The inspections are followed by various treatments, during which I must not be present. Weekly treatments for 6 weeks, which is how long it took to stop finding live bugs. Then, 6 weeks of inspections and treatments without any indication of bed bug presence (or carpet beetles or ticks, which we also treated for). The first 2 inspection-treatments of such were weekly. The last 2 have been at 2-week intervals. Today's treatment was a repeat of my complete initial treatment (full application of residuals, growth regulator & contact sprays). Now, treatment is likely over. We will get 1 more inspection in a month, without any kind of treatment. If we are still clean at that time, we will be declared clean, and a 3-month warranty period will begin, toward the end of which we will get one more thorough inspection.

    The PCO (pest control operator) recommends bringing treated belongings back in during the warranty period, in case we bring back a live bug or two. If bugs are discovered during this time we start over, with no additional charges. Anything after the warranty period is treated as a new infestation. Treatment was a flat charge, covering whatever is needed until clean, based upon the initial, thorough inspection.

    I must say that I was a bit skeptical of achieving success with a partial treatment of my home. This is considering how many bugs it takes to make a reproducing problem (one inseminated female). We have been using their biology and behavior against them, in a variety of ways.

    Bottom Line: for the last 6 weeks: no captures in traps or interceptors, no bites, no live bugs or even corpses. We are not letting up. We are still living as if heavily infested. This will lift when we have been declared clean. My music collection (vinyl, CDs, 8-tracks, R2Rs, and cassettes) have been under Nuvan treatment for a month, as has been our art work, This will be first back into our home after the declaration of clean. The the tubs will be filled with additional possessions. I bought 5 more tubs of the same size, to speed treatment, so we can evacuate our storage unit as soon as possible.

    The tubs we are using are made by Sterilite (Target has them for $15 each). They are perfect for Vinyl LPS (stored vertically) and more. They have a foam rubber seal around the top, and multiple latches, to ensure a good seal. They are also quite strong and stack nicely. Toss in a Nuvan Pro-Strip (see up-thread), and wait for 3+ weeks, depending on temperature and all bug stages, including eggs, will be dead. Air out for 2+ hours in a well ventilated area, and you are done. Re-use the tubs and strips (strips are good for 90 days in warm temperatures).

    http://www.sterilite.com/SelectProduct.html?id=930&ProductCategory=305&section=1
    [​IMG]

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  19. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    Awesome info, thanks again. Of course I hope no one needs it, but the way things are going, people SOMEwhere do already, and someone here probably will.
     
  20. Quadman2

    Quadman2 Addicted Member

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    Holy bug, Batman!:eek:

    Do you think global shrinkage has some role in this stage we call world? All the Ash trees have been destroyed in our region by the Green Borer which has no predator in North America.

    Thanks for the heads up those lazy but nasty critters!

    Q
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018

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